Thursday, July 24, 2008

Maggie Walks Down to the Lake

actually this is not a pic of Maggie> it is Mara) but gives you the idea of the video version of Maggie walking toward the Lake ----------------^

Lulu, Ruby, 71, Mara and Maggie. All African Elephants at PAWS: they have Asians in another habitat
Remember Maggie the lone elephant from the Alaskan Zoo who was flown to a animal preservation park in Northern California.
She is settled in her new home at PAWS. Go to to see Pat Derby, The President and Founder of PAWS narrate as the viewer watches Maggie exploring her environs this week. Maggie leaves her group for an extended walk and finds to her joy a lake. She will be ready soon to go swimming in her Lake. What a transformation from an elephant that had to be lifted from the ground by a crane becasue of a fall to the curious healthy animal she is today. Maggie is an older elephant. I forget how old but I think in her thirties. I know she spent 25 years in the Alaskan Zoo. Ruby is the oldest of the elephants at PAWS. She is in her forties. Check out the video on Ruby's 1st Anniversary at PAWS. Ruby was from the LA Zoo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Barack Obama Visits Strategic Sites in The Iraq- Afghan War Zone and the Middle East

Everything I have been reading or seeing concerning our Democratic Presidential Candidate continuing travel abroad shows Barack Obama is doing exceedingly better than any expectations anyone might have had. McCain set himself up for this one by calling on Obama at one point to visit Iraq and the War zone because of his supposed lack of experience in foreign affairs especially in regard to Iraq which McCainites think is McCain's strong suit. Instead of just taking the bait and falling flat on his face, Obama is exceeding everyone's wildest dreams. Obama looks good towering over the soldiers he greets and making speeches that are succinct and that make sense as sound bites via the media.* Jewish Israelis greeted him with some skepticism but as he soon leaves for his European tour, the Israeli news media and politicans are saying nice things about him especially since he took a strong stand on Iran and the nuke question making the point that he will not allow them to have nukes but he will work energetically diplomatically-wise to keep this from happening keeping a military deterrent approach on the table. I am paraphrasing what he said.

In Israel, Obama laid a wreath at a site memorializing The Holocaust. He looked appropriately serious as all Presidents do on similar occasions; however, there was something special about it. Everything he says along the way makes good sense. He also expressed concern about the missile attacks and other violent incidents that have maimed or killed Israelis. I gather that the Palestinians do not like what he is saying so I doubt he gained any points from them. On the other hand, some on the Palestinian side might gain hope from the fact that Obama seems very serious about making peace and his peace noises sound convincing. In the Jordan Times, ( "Obama said "“I will not wait until a few years into my term or my second term if I am elected in order to get the process moving,” Obama said in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, which has been hard-hit by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire. “I think we have a window right now that needs to be taken advantage of.” )

I am struck by Obama's sense of self possession and confidence as he moves into the realm of foreign affairs. It is as if this
man has come from nowhere as others have mentioned and as if he is already our President in spite of the warning he better not act as if he is and yet I can suddenly see him clearly as if he is. I am not completely in his camp as I am left of Obama on many fronts; but given all that has come to pass, I am hopeful that this man will move us away from the Bush years and more and am already thinking that we may awake as if it all was a horrible dream that went on and on and kept getting worse all the way back since Ronald Reagan. I hate to be negative about Bill Clinton as he was surrounded by Republican power everywhere he moved but Obama does seem to be his own man not somebody's else. Perhaps, Obama senses the direction the country wants to go- up, out and away from a past filled with decisions based on arrogant power driven ambition driven types and just plain ignorance of the lowest common denominator. There is definitely something "Blowin in the Wind" and it appears he is Obama.

* i like the way Obama was strong with Gen. Petraeus saying his piece so well. The point Obama made or what I heard him saying though I am reading between the lines is that you (Petraeus) may be right we should have more troops staying longer, perhaps, if you are looking only at the needs of Iraq (even their own President is with Obama on this one) but as President I have to look at the needs of the whole nation and whole foreign national picture and basically he was saying we need the money we spend for these troops at home to help us get back on our feet in the USA. It was like You are doing a good job within your job capacity. When I am President I will do my job and your job will be over. Up to now, all we heard was "Generals know best" . Obama never donned a military outfit or put on a stupid looking helmet. It was as if he was saying I am a civilian and will be a Civilian Commander in Chief not one cowed by the military. I thought it was a profoundly reassuring message.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Radovan Karadzic Captured after 13 years: FINALLY

On the Capture of Radovan Karadzic from the Telegraph, UK

"Radovan Karadzic, the ultranationalist leader of the Bosnian Serbs in the 1992-1995 civil war in the former Yugoslavia, is widely regarded by diplomats as the chief architect of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia — crimes that were Europe’s worst atrocities since World War II. One of the world’s most wanted men, he was arrested on July 21, 2008.

Dr. Karadzic, a psychiatrist by profession and a published poet and writer, was twice indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The charges say he authorized the shooting of civilians during the siege of Sarajevo and for directing the slaughter of an estimated 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men in Srebenica, in eastern Bosnia.

Regarded as a war hero by many Serbs, he went into hiding in 1997 and escaped capture for years. Officials at the war crimes tribunal say a well-financed support network that included police officers and members of the intelligence services in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, as well as members of the Serbian Orthodox Church, enabled Dr. Karadzic to remain on the run." (Telegraph, UK)

"Ratko Mladic,, the General who carried out war crimes against Bosnians is still on the loose although his arrest is reported to be imminent. Mladic carried out Milosevic (president of Serbia) Karadzic's genocidal policies against the Bosnians in Bosnia-Herzogovina and also against the Croatians in that territory." pieced from various news reports SRaphael."I don't plan on putting the horrible faces of either Mladic or Karadzic on my blog."